Double consciousness  

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Double consciousness is the internal conflict experienced by subordinated or colonized groups in an oppressive society. The term and the idea were first published in W. E. B. Du Bois's autoethnographic work, The Souls of Black Folk in 1903, in which he described the African American experience of double consciousness, including his own.

Originally, double consciousness was specifically the psychological challenge African Americans experienced of "always looking at one's self through the eyes" of a racist white society and "measuring oneself by the means of a nation that looked back in contempt". The term also referred to Du Bois's experiences of reconciling his African heritage with an upbringing in a European-dominated society.

More recently, the concept of double consciousness has been expanded to other situations of social inequality, notably women living in patriarchal societies as well as LGBTQ people living in homophobic and transphobic societies.

The idea of double consciousness is important because it illuminates the experiences of black people living in post-slavery America, and also because it sets a framework for understanding the position of oppressed people in an oppressive world. As a result, it became used to explain the dynamics of gender, colonialism, xenophobia and more alongside race. This theory laid a strong foundation for other critical theorists to expand upon.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Double consciousness" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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